Recent Case Shines Light on Dangers of Parental Alienation

After going through an arduous custody battle where he was accused of abuse, Edward Herzstock, wants other parents in similar situations to know that while the situation is very difficult, going through court is the best approach.

In Hersztock’s case, the other party, the mother of his son, attempted to open a claim of child physical abuse to obstruct Herzstock’s parenting time. When the case was investigated and closed within a week, the other party called a different office to open a new child abuse case for sexual abuse. After a month-long investigation and no findings, the second case was closed.

Judge Kristjanson of the Superior court said, “remarkably, although there had been no parenting time since December, and the first investigation (which commenced by complaint around January 11) was closed, the respondent then called the CAS to create a new file reporting, this time including claims of sexual abuse,” about the plaintiff, Elizabeth Minett.

During this time, court records show the mother was withholding the child for significant periods of time from Herzstock, while he was seeking to continue his bond with his child despite “the many roadblocks set up by the mother.” Said the Judge about the plaintiff, Elizabeth Minett.

Judge Kristjanson called the mother’s allegations “unsupported” and “lacking in credibility.” The judge said, “this, together with other evidence, indicates that the mother is not supporting the child’s relationship with the father. I was also concerned with the vitriol in the mother’s affidavit about the alleged character of the father.”

The judge found it is in the child’s best interest to have regular and predictable parenting time split between both parents while increasing Herzstock’s parenting time and ordered the mother to pay costs of $10,000.00.

After attempting to open two separate and unrelated reports to child services, the final report from child services found no evidence of any abuse. Child Services of Toronto did specify the child was “not displaying any signs of emotional distress, although he was confused about not seeing his father.”

Judge Kristjanson said this was a very important motion for Herzstock given the applicant’s conduct and the importance of re-establishing a parenting schedule.”

“The truth prevails, and offenders have found that when the judge sees the facts, parental alienation can lead to real problems when it is not dealt with swiftly to protect the child,” Herzstock said. “When one parent tries to obstruct parenting time of the other parent by making false child abuse claims, the child is now the victim. I knew I had to get everything documented and presented in court.

Superior Court of Ontario, Toronto, Canada | Case Number: FS-20-00016116-0000

Herzstock was presented by Patel Leonard, LLP, out of Brampton, Ontario.

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